261-263 Queensberry St
Carlton, VIC 3053
I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this, but K, my long-suffering regular dining companion, is also my longstanding blog post editor. I will admit to feeling a little bad about the poor grammar I’ve exposed him to over the years, but I do occasionally treat him to a nice meal to make up for it. And that balances things out nicely. Or so I tell myself.
Having been a while since our last meal, I took this opportunity when I was last down in Melbourne to have brunch with K at Flovie Florist Café, the hot new opening by the owners behind the very popular White Mojo.
In case you were wondering, Flovie Florist Café is more than just a name. It is in fact exactly what it sounds like – a combination between a florist and café. And whilst that may sound odd, it’s actually an excellent idea. With a charmingly European-styled interior decked out with an explosion of flowers, Flovie is one of the most beautiful spaces I’ve ever been in.
With a rather exceptional drinks menu including everything from a butterfly pea latte to Flovie perfume mocktails, I couldn’t help but go beyond my usual coffee and give the Rose Tea Latte ($7.5) a go. And despite sounding somewhat like a gimmick, this was so, so delicious. It tasted like a Turkish delight in creamy latte form, or maybe a rose-scented milkshake served warm. Every sip was sweet and fragrant, but at no point did it ever become overwhelming. I may love my coffee, but I’d choose this over a flat white any day.
Luckily, I had K with me, so I didn’t actually have to choose between the rose latte and my customary Skinny Flat White ($4, small). This wasn’t as remarkable as the rose latte – not that I had expected it to be – but it gave me the caffeine shot that I needed.
I felt rather smug when I found out that I had my eye on the same 3 dishes as the ones that out waiter recommended to us. The first of the lot was the Char Siu Pulled Pork + Eggs Benny ($20), a very Asian twist on a very Western classic.
Just as promised, the pulled pork did have the distinct sweet spiciness of char siu, its rich flavour balanced out by the refreshing citrus notes in the mandarin hollandaise. And instead of bread, each eggy tower was served on half a fried mantou – steamed bun – which was a neat idea, even if it made for slightly messy eating. This was a fun twist on a traditional brunch dish, and I liked how cohesively it melded influences from two disparate cultures, rather than feeling like it was jamming them together for the sake of being different.
Compared to the eye-catching benedict, the Chorizo Egg Scramble ($18.5) looked very humble indeed. But don’t be fooled – this is actually a powerhouse of flavour. I was impressed with the way the smoky, meaty aroma of the chorizo permeated every bite of the creamy scrambled egg, which was folded through generously with parmesan. It was perfectly good on its own, but if you’re wanting something a little more complex, there’s aioli yoghurt streaked across the plate, and dollop of sweet chipotle raisin relish to complement the savoury egg.
With Black Forest being my most favourite cake ever, how could I leave without trying the Flovie Black Forest Hotcakes ($20)? Like the benedict, the presentation was just top-notch – thick, fluffy hotcakes, juicy cherry compote, and even a beribboned rose that you’re welcome to keep. Drizzle over with the pot of warm chocolate sauce for maximum Instagram-impact.
Despite being labelled as hotcakes, this was actually more akin to a warm chocolate mud cake, though you certainly won’t hear me complaining. What I liked the most about this is that despite looking and sounding way over the top, it’s actually indulgent without being overly cloying. The sweetness of the hotcakes was tempered by the usage of dark chocolate, the cherries added a welcome tang, and the scoop of mascarpone provided a cool, creamy foil to each bite. It was balanced enough that we polished this off with no problems, even though we’d already had 2 dishes (or maybe we were just super greedy).
Whilst there are many restaurants and cafes around that promise a unique experience, Flovie is one of the few that actually delivers. There’s certainly no other place I know of that has such a beautiful interior decorated almost entirely with flowers fresh and dry, and the food, whilst not quite jaw-dropping, certainly has enough flair and creativity to keep things interesting. Everything is also super Instagram-friendly, but unlike The Glass Den (which I’ll never stop being annoyed about), there’s actual substance behind the style. This may sound like a bit of a bland recommendation, but in the best way possible, Flovie is just a really nice place to be.
Rating: 14/20 – for lovie.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.
Sweet and Sour Fork dined as a guest of Flovie Florist Café.